Cud and die cracks..is this uncommon?

Discussion in 'Coin Chat' started by gbroke, Apr 14, 2012.

  1. gbroke

    gbroke Naturally Toned Supporter

    I starting imaging some German coins last night and never noticed this beauty of a broken die. Although I am not very knowledgeable in errors, I assume this cud and cracks was caused by a very deteriorated die? Is it fairly rare to see them in this stage?

    [​IMG]

    Thanks for any input.
    -greg
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  3. GDJMSP

    GDJMSP Numismatist Moderator

    I'd imagine it has about the same commonality as US coins. The problems that plague the mints pretty well plague all of the mints.
  4. TheCoinGeezer

    TheCoinGeezer Senex Bombulum

    I'd imagine that a war-ravaged Germany would try to stretch die life to the point of no return and that coins of that era are likely more prone to exhibit signs of die deterioration.
    Just my 2ยข
  5. gbroke

    gbroke Naturally Toned Supporter

    Thanks guys. It makes me think about how many more could have been struck before the die just fell apart completely. I really do not know much about the minting process. When a die is cracking are there countermeasures they do to a die to try and extend it's life? Or do they pretty much just use it till it breaks completely? These cracks certainly give it some character.

    On that note, is this one near a die failure you think? Or is it possible that there could be many many more struck after this one?
  6. GDJMSP

    GDJMSP Numismatist Moderator

    Nope, not a single thing.

    Depends on what the situation was. If the country was in dire straits and needed to use every die to the max, then yeah they'd use it till it fell apart. If they weren't, and times were flush, then as soon as a mint worker noticed the coins having die cracks then the die would be pulled. Mints have always taken a great deal of pride in their product. And coins with die cracks are not considered good product but bad product.

    Dunno, what Geezer said makes sense, so it may well have been used till it completely fell apart.
  7. gbroke

    gbroke Naturally Toned Supporter

    Thanks Doug. Maybe this question is for another thread, but I'll ask anyway.
    I often see die polish lines on coins. Is the die polishing done only prior to its first use? Or do they pull a die to polish it when it exhibits some sort of weaker strike or other criteria?

    I guess I am curious on what maintenance goes into a die throughout it's life cycle, if any. If it matters, I am referring to coins minted for circulation.
  8. Detecto

    Detecto VICTORIA DEI GRA BRITT REGINA FID DEF

    And that's how the term "mint condition" was coined.
  9. GDJMSP

    GDJMSP Numismatist Moderator

    Every die is polished before it's ever used. Of course we're talking about modern coins, milled coins, machined coins, not hammered coins. But even some hammer type dies were polished, depending on dates.

    The other die polishing your talking about is done after the die is used, often well used, but not always. Previously used dies are typically polished for 1 of 2 reasons, a die clash, or wear. Die clashes are obvious reasons, you don't want part of the design from the obv showing up on the rev and vice versa. So the die is polished to remove those partial designs.

    With wear it's a bit different, and not what most folks would think of when they think of wear. The wear you are trying to remove on a die comes from metal flow. For as the metal of the coin flows across the surface of the die that friction between the 2 metals creates lines in the surface of the die, in the fields. So once a die becomes worn to a certain point it is polished to remove those lines from the fields so that the die can again mint coins as they are supposed to be.

    And die polishing is not what a lot of people think it is. When a die is polished the only part of the die that is touched are the fields. There is no polishing of the devices (the recesses in the die) - ever - because it can't be done. Polishing is only ever done on the fields, new dies and used dies.
  10. 10gary22

    10gary22 Junior Member

    I believe war era coins always have a greater number of errors. It seems that when machinery and materiale are used, the mints suffer.
  11. gbroke

    gbroke Naturally Toned Supporter

    Doug..Thanks for the informative and quick response. I am starting to get interested in the minting process.

    Gary.. That certainly makes sense.
  12. beef1020

    beef1020 Junior Member

    Just to add a little to the discussion, the die can be pulled due to a cud and fixed. For instance, the 1852 large cent N-11 has at least 4 known different die breaks where each one was pulled and repaired, before the end of the marriage life the reverse die broke. Interestingly, none of the late die states with cuds on on the reverse show any of the obverse cuds. I don't think this was common, but they did have the ability to repair cuds.

    To you question about how much longer it was used, no one knows, but if the die was used for much longer there may be an example where that cud is larger, or there is another cud altogether. There are many famous examples of this in the large cent serious, thinking about 31N12, or other late dates.

    I have posted a picture I have offhand of a 47 N18 with one large cud and one small cud on the obverse:

    47n18_1obv.jpg

    The first cud started under the date and runs clockwise up to star 2. The last cud to form is the one by star 4, with this example being the terminal die state. As I said, there is no way to know how many of yours there are, and with the time period there could be quite a few. But for the 47n18 pictured it is one of 19 known. The previous intermediate state, with the large cud from the date to star 2 has only 8 known, and there is only 1 example of the earlier intermediate die state with only a small cud from the date to star 1.

    I personally love cuds, and there are a handful of collectors out there who collect all cuds. I am pretty sure the large cent late date die and die states have been thoroughly researched, but I don't think many foreign coins have been, it would be an interesting novel area of research.
  13. DrunkNumismatic

    DrunkNumismatic New Member

    I also am getting interested in the Minting process. I have read alot about the process, from its inception until present time, online, and have watched some videos on the mint. Is there a good comprehensive source for understanting the nuances of the minting process and its history? Like a book, or a really in depth website, or film? Thanks.
  14. gbroke

    gbroke Naturally Toned Supporter

    Good question. I would also be interested in a book or video.

    Here are a couple more early cuds in my collection:

    [​IMG]
    [​IMG]
  15. britcoin

    britcoin New Member

    I think when I get back from my honeymoon next month I am going to buy a loupe and actually look at the coins I have. Would be interesting to see if I have any variations or different mint marks or die cracks.
  16. gbroke

    gbroke Naturally Toned Supporter

    Congrats on your marriage!

    Yeah, you never really get to know your coins until you see them close up. A loupe really stresses my old eyes. Once I starting imaging my coins, I was amazed at how many die cracks I could see. On the other hand, I also now see problems and other damage. :)

    Here is a really nice die crack that I didn't know was there until I saw it after imaging. Across the top of 'STATES OF' and 'E PLURIBUS'
    [​IMG]
  17. ikandiggit

    ikandiggit Currency Error Collector

    I have this Canadian cent with multiple die cracks. It couldn't have lasted much longer:

    [​IMG]
  18. GDJMSP

    GDJMSP Numismatist Moderator

    Exactly how would you repair a broken die ? A cud is formed because a piece of the die is missing, there is a hole in the die. How do you fix that ? You can't. Sorry, but I'm not buying this idea.
  19. beef1020

    beef1020 Junior Member

    It is a very interesting variety as I agree it's unusual to fix a die. But it's the only possible explanation for a coin, 1852 N11, which has four different unique obverse rim cuds in it's early state. Then it has a long run of middle die state coins with no obverse or reverse cuds. Then it has a final state with a large rim cud break on the reverse again with no obverse rim cud breaks present on any example.

    The only other option is that the four unique obverse rim breaks are actually 4 different obverse dies. Trust me, I would love for that to be the answer as I own one of the pieces and it would increase it's value by a factor of 20. But it has all the diagnostics of the N11 obverse die. I am bring the coin up to EAC in a couple weeks and will get people's opinions there, but as stated and as written by Grellman, it appears they fixed the obverse die after the cuds.
  20. GDJMSP

    GDJMSP Numismatist Moderator

    C'mon, use your common sense. You cannot repair a hole in a die. They can't even do it today, let alone in 1847.
  21. longnine009

    longnine009 Iconic

    Many Lincoln cents from the 50's came
    from failing dies: cracked skulls, spiked
    heads, BIEs etc. I've never heard of a cud
    area being repaired. If it were possible
    shouldn't the repaired area show a seam?

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